Cassie Sonnentag recently received an SMBMad scholarship to virtually attend the Social Media Strategies Summit. Below, Cassie gives an inside look at the experience.
Building Community with Social Media Strategies Summit
For those of us managing brand presences on social media, we are no strangers to the value of an online community. From staying on top of social trends to the value of social listening a big part of a brand’s success online is building and listening to its online community.
I recently had the pleasure of attending the virtual Social Media Strategies Summit thanks to a scholarship received by Social Media Breakfast Madison. Building a community was a strong focus of this event this past February.
Here are my top three takeaways when it comes to community building and engagement:
Meet the customer where they are
This takeaway might seem like a no-brainer, but when building an online community, it is important to first take a step back and evaluate your ideal customer and build your online presence based on their trends. During the conference, Social Media Manager at Intuit Audrey Willis suggested looking at the customer’s mindset and what is going on in their lives.
“If our ideal customer is getting married or having a baby, those are big life events that you plan for,” said Willis. “We are really trying to reach people who are planning On social, we reach planners on Pinterest. Pinners are planners.”
Meeting your customers where they are on social media and targeting your messaging towards what they are doing is key for beginning to establish an online community.
Engage your community
Once your community is built, it is time to engage. It is important to not only listen to your fans and those who are interacting with your brand online, but also to respond to them. This allows fans to build a relationship with the faces behind your brand, making it more likely that they will engage and purchase from you in the future.
Senior Manager of Social Media and Digital Content at Bauer Hockey Madeleine McCarty said this engagement leads to a win-win scenario for the brand and its followers.
“If people are posting about your product, ask them how they like it and learn from their experience,” said McCarty. “Ask them if you can use [their content] as a part of your campaign, see how they are using your product and gauge what is going on in the real world.”
Rather than making assumptions about how your product is being received and utilized, this allows you to see your product in real life, get involved with trends that apply to your product users and find ways to adapt to meet the needs of your fans.
Use feedback to boost your online presence
Actively listening to and engaging with your community allows you to gain valuable information about what is working and what isn’t. Having that information and using it to make targeted improvements to your brand’s online presence ultimately leads to increased engagement with your target audience.
Monitoring your social media channels and online review sites allows you to identify common online conversation themes, trends and concerns.
OpenPhone’s Social Media and Community Manager Christina Le said this boils down to two goals.
“Number one, you want to provide quicker response times that improves customers’ experiences and brand loyalty,” said Le. “Number two, this ultimately leads to increased customer satisfaction. If you never stop to listen to your community’s feedback and actually engage with them, you just become background noise.”
Simple ways to engage with your community and organically generate their feedback are using Q&A sessions, polls, surveys and special promotions. Once you have insights from these data tools, you are able to make effective changes to your brand’s online presence including website updates, create new social media content and revisions to customer service strategies.
The importance of community was strongly conveyed throughout the Social Media Strategies Summit, but the tools and networking opportunities from this virtual conference are endless! There are multiple variations of the Summit for different niches and multiple offerings throughout the year. I encourage you to consider to visit the Social Media Strategies Summit website and learn more about upcoming learning opportunities.